• The interaction of Io and the Jovian magnetic field: Io's Alfven wings and particle acceleration

      Dols, Vincent (2001-08)
      Conditions for the formation of an electric field along the field lines of Jupiter crossing the satellite Io are investigated by examining the properties of Io's Alfven wave. A three-dimensional self-consistent MHD model, using a simplified magnetosphere description, illustrates the formation of this electric field and of Io's related auroral emission in the Jovian ionosphere. The Alfven wing properties between Io and Jupiter are studied with a one-dimensional MHD model and a realistic magnetosphere. Any change in the Io/Jupiter system affects the structure of the Alfven wing and likely affects the structure of Io's auroral emissions. This emission is likely structured in multi-spots and the angle between the first spot and the instantaneous projection of Io is less than 3°. In the limited context of the 1D approximation, the acceleration mechanism is expected close to Jupiter.